You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2011 / December / Blue Out, Canning Efforts Raise $47,000 to Fight Child Abuse, Rape

Blue Out, Canning Efforts Raise $47,000 to Fight Child Abuse, Rape

A movement started by two graduate students at Penn State has resulted in $47,000 being raised for two nonprofit organizations fighting child abuse and sexual assault.
December 12, 2011
Blue Out, Canning Efforts Raise $47,000 to Fight Child Abuse, Rape

Grad students Laura March (second from left) and Stuart Shapiro (center) and McLanahan's owner Raymond Agostinelli (second from right) and manager Connie Williams (left) present a check to Chrystal Walsh of Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.

A movement started by two graduate students at Penn State has resulted in $47,000 being raised for two nonprofit organizations fighting child abuse and sexual assault.

Laura March, a graduate student in the College of Arts and Architecture, and Stuart Shapiro, a first-year student in the Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA Program, started the campaign to "blue out" Beaver Stadium by having all fans wear blue for the Penn State Football game against Nebraska on Nov. 12. Blue is the color of ribbons displayed in support of child abuse awareness.

The two teamed up with State College retailer McLanahan's to sell T-shirts in support of the effort, with all proceeds going to Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania, an organization dedicated to awareness and prevention of child abuse. McLanahan's sold about 8,000 shirts in the week leading up to the Nebraska game, and on Dec. 7 presented a check to Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania for $25,000.

March and Shapiro also organized the canning effort inside Beaver Stadium during the Nebraska game, which resulted in about $22,000 being raised for Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, and organization fighting sexual violence and supporting the needs and rights of victims.

The two students came up with the idea for the blue out campaign on Nov. 6, after reading about child sex abuse charges filed against retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. They were seeking ways to comfort themselves in the aftermath of the scandal that has affected the entire Penn State community when March discovered that blue is the color of the awareness ribbons supporting child abuse causes.

"I had recently taken a class about using art to make a difference, and this seemed like an appropriate way to bring the University community together in the aftermath of this tragedy while showing our collective support for all victims and survivors of child abuse," March says.

With only five days before the Nebraska game, she and Shapiro worked quickly to get the word out. They started a marketing communications campaign, first on Facebook and then through traditional media. When they approached McLanahan's about selling the T-shirts for charity, March literally had only minutes to create its design to get the shirts on the store's shelves before the game.

In the days leading up to the game, the Facebook event page for the blue out quickly became a virtual village square, with visitors expressing their opinions and feelings about all aspects of the event.

"We made a conscious decision before we started the Facebook page that we were not going to censor any of the comments," Shapiro says. "At first we tried to respond to every comment, both negative and positive, but that soon became impossible as the responses grew. But then the community took over the page, responding to each other, and it became this great virtual meeting place where open discourse flourished."

In an organization as large as Penn State, March and Shapiro believe this campaign is proof that everyone can make a difference.

"This was a true collaboration of the arts and business, coming together and doing something positive in the aftermath of tragedy," says Shapiro.

The blue out T-shirts will be available through December at McLanahan's and online at pennstateroom.com. They are $9.99 each with all proceeds going to Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.

For more information on Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania, visit preventchildabusepa.org.

Filed under:
Recent News
Smeal Community Invited to Sign Honor Code 29 Aug

The Penn State Smeal College of Business community will have an opportunity to sign the Smeal honor code throughout the second week of classes. Signing sessions will take place on Sept. 2-4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Atrium of the Business Building on the University Park campus.

Smeal Student, Bitcoin Advocate Wins Trip to London Cryptocurrency Conference 27 Aug

Penn State Smeal College of Business student Patrick Cines will fly to London next month to attend the Inside Bitcoins: The Business of the Cryptocurrency World conference, thanks to a Twitter contest sponsored by CheapAir.com.

Students Learn Real-World Supply Chain and Sustainability Skills in Italy 26 Aug Students Learn Real-World Supply Chain and Sustainability Skills in Italy

This summer 23 Penn State Smeal College of Business students spent six weeks in Florence, Italy, studying supply chain and management from an Italian perspective with Norm Aggon, assistant department chair and instructor in operations and supply chain management, and Ron Johnson, senior instructor in management and organization.

Smeal Welcomes New Faculty Members 26 Aug

The Penn State Smeal College of Business welcomes more than 15 new members to its faculty this academic year.

MBA Students in U.S., Canada Invited to Register for Sustainability Case Competition 22 Aug

MBA students from AACSB-accredited programs in the U.S. and Canada are invited to register for the inaugural Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. The competition, part of an initiative aimed at incorporating sustainability into the curriculum, will offer three top prizes that total $17,500.

More Recent News... More Recent News...